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Super Bowl betting projected at $16 billion this year

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A record 50.4 million American adults plan to bet on this year’s Super Bowl, wagering a total of $16 billion, the gambling industry’s national trade group predicted Tuesday.

The American Gaming Association forecasts that 1 in 5 American adults will place a bet on Sunday’s NFL championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The estimate includes legal bets, and those placed with illegal bookies or casually among friends or relatives.

The total amount expected to be wagered this year is more than double the amount from last year as the legal U.S. sports betting market continues to grow.

More than half of all American adults live in a market where sports betting is legal.

Hard data is backing up predictions of a record- setting betting market for this year’s game. GeoComply, which handles nearly all the online betting traffic for the U.S. sports betting market to verify a customer is in a particular location where such bets are legal, says it has recorded over 550 million geolocation checks during the NFL playoffs from Jan. 14 to 29.

That’s up 50% from the same period last year, and the group is predicting record- setting volume for this year’s Super Bowl.

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming Research, an independent analytics firm in California, looked solely at legal bets. It predicted a total of just over $1 billion this year, led by Nevada ($155 million); New York ($111 million); Pennsylvania ($91 million); Ohio ($85 million) and New Jersey ($84 million.) Their research was not involved in the AGA predictions.

The AGA survey found bettors evenly split, with 44% backing the Chiefs and an identical percentage betting on the Eagles.

The Eagles were 1.5-point favorites as of Monday night on FanDuel, the official odds provider to The Associated Press.

There is a vast array of bets offered on the big game, from the most basic predictions of which team will win and by how many points, to wagering on the total amount of points scored in the game.

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